Set in one of San Francisco's snazziest neighborhoods, Spruce draws a regular crowd of wealthy retirees and corporate types by day. Evenings bring couples out for date night. The dining room, with its cathedral-style ceilings and skylight, is masculine yet modern-think studded leather chairs and splashes of charcoal and chocolate. A small front café serves coffee and pastries, while the marble bar lures happy-hour crowds for a cocktail or glass of wine from the extensive list. Micro-seasonal and thoroughly Californian, Spruce spotlights cooking that's both simple and undeniably elegant. Rustic and homey starters may include hand-shaped ravioli filled with fresh ricotta and bathed in a broth of its tart whey, with fava leaf purée. A roulade of guinea hen stuffed with pork and duck sausage is exquisitely moist and juicy, and accompanied by thick fingers of nutty-sweet brown ale toast perfect for sopping up every last drop. For dessert, a dense and decadent crème fraîche cheesecake is thick and creamy, with plenty of sweet vanilla flavor and a classic graham-cracker crust, and some added zing from juicy citrus segments and a quenelle of brilliantly tart Makrut lime ice cream.
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